Here is a weekly selection of important information bits, thoughtful opinion pieces and interesting analyses from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday.
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- What You Can’t Say
Fantastic, thought-provoking and inspiring essay by Paul Graham from 2004. There is a lot of life advice in this piece. Graham later co-founded the most successful startup incubator of all times, Y Combinator. I’d say that considering his “early” wisdom cannot be a bad choice.
- Face It, Your Brain Is a Computer
I find this metaphor indeed to be very helpful when understanding the implications of the computerization and describing certain issues of the human condition.
- No, You Don’t Have Free Speech Online
Important reminder to everyone who complaints about “censorship” happening on major online platforms.
- The end of interest rates
The most striking statement of this post can be found in the end: “After all, being an entrepreneur is — most likely — the only way to generate abnormal returns and the timing has never been better.”
- The Alleged $7.5 Billion Fraud in Online Advertising
Online advertising seems to be completely and utterly broken.
- No, 2 self-driving cars didn’t have a “close call” on Silicon Valley streets
The media’s obsession with reporting on incidents with self-driving cars is quite annoying (considering the huge amount of unreported incidents involving human drivers). Even more when there actually was no incident at all.
- This Is How Uber Takes Over a City
There is quite an effort involved. Uber has been launched in hundreds of cities, so it is more than understandable why the company needs so much venture capital to fund its expansion.
- Uber’s API Affiliate Program Pays Devs $5 For Each User They Refer
Expect the option to call an Uber ride to pop-up in many third party apps.
- Headphones are the new walls for people in open-plan offices
Good observation. I often use headphones even when I do not listen to music. Especially when I work and have to focus. It makes people more hesitant to bother me. If they still do, I can be very brief in my response without them being surprised or offended.
- How Google Finally Got Design
As an iOS user I have to admit that I was not fully aware of the design improvements made to Android, but interesting to learn about it.
- How Sweden became the startup capital of Europe
Since I live in Stockholm (when not being in long-term travel mode), I do not complain about this development.
- Bitcoin Is Unsustainable
Critical take on the high energy needs of Bitcoin transactions.
- Why I’m leaving London
Cory Doctorow leaves London and based on how he describes the trends that are shaping the English capital, I totally understand him.
- David Cameron says he wants to try and ban encryption in Britain
It’s not only London: The UK in general seems to develop in a very concerning direction, especially when it comes to mass surveillance.
- EU plans to destroy net neutrality by allowing Internet fast lanes
The press release tried to give the agreement a positive spin, but in reality the Europe Union plans to introduce the opposite of net neutrality – a two-tier Internet. Very very concerning.
- Reddit Is An Incubator Of Hate
Not everyone likes Reddit’s philosophy of policing “behavior, not ideas”.
- Safari is the new IE
Can’t comment on whether there is any substance to this claim, but catchy headline and worth a read.
- SoundCloud boss on Apple, free music and going legit
Count how many times SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung declines to comment during this interview. You’ll need many fingers.
- Medium doesn’t think it needs passwords to offer secure authentication
Hopefully more web services and apps follow the idea of logging in with an email address. I like it a lot.
- Yes, It Really is Different This Time
Obviously a statement like that is an invitation to criticism. However, the author makes what I find to be solid points about technological unemployment, and argues for a base income.
- Germany’s most popular paid app is a secure messenger loved by millions – now it’s taking on the US
About Threema, a Swiss-based encrypted messenger app that I am using as well. It has some usability disadvantages compared to Messenger or WhatsApp, but that’s a worthy price to pay for better privacy.
And this week on meshedsociety.com: